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FAQs

This page presents frequently asked questions about the Smeal Honor Code.

Why does Penn State need an Honor Code?

Integrity and trust are the cornerstones of business relationships.  Ethical decision-making has grown increasingly complex in a global marketplace because top business schools have an obligation to prepare students for the challenges and expectations of the corporate climate.

What do I do if I see an Honor Code violation?

If you see an Honor Code violation, you have a couple of options. You can raise the issue with your professor or TA.  If you prefer to share your concerns with a third party, then you might bring it to the attention of the Smeal Honor Committee.  Another option is to seek out a trusted faculty member who can discuss the matter with you and provide direction.

What do I do if I've been accused of an HC violation?

You will be contacted by your professor to discuss the matter.  It is in your best interest to attend the meeting and to learn what the academic integrity concerns are.  You will be presented with an Academic Intregrity Incident Report (AIIR) Form that summarizes the issue and offers you a chance to accept or contest the case.

What does it mean to be given an "Academic Warning?"

Depending on the nature of the misconduct, a student might be given a formal academic warning.  Counseling on academic integrity can help the student to avoid a repeat incident.  The formal warning is kept on file and taken under advisement in the event of a future violation.

How should I advise someone who's been accused of cheating?

It is clearly an uncomfortable position for anyone to be in.  Having a friend to confide in can ease some of the stress.  The best advice you can give is to encourage them to meet with the professor and discuss the matter.  They should be well-versed in their responsibilities and their options for resolving the matter. You can direct them to this website for additional guidance.

How can I prevent this from happening to me or someone I know?

The best approach is a proactive one and there are a number of ways to put it into practice.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Smeal Honor Code and encourage others to do the same.
  • Make sure you understand the rules of engagement and go out of your way to abide by them.
  • Know what the professor’s expectations are for satisfactory completion and delivery of assignments or exams. If you have any doubts, you should seek clarification from the professor.

What happened to those people who got caught cheating last semester?

The university has a strict academic integrity policy for dealing with misconduct.

What are the professors doing to maintain integrity and discourage cheating?

Upholding the Smeal Honor Code is a shared responsibility.  Smeal faculty are sending an important message to students by helping them to understand the honor code and how it applies to their course.